Rwanda Education: Govt to Roll Out Digital Teaching in June



Learners across
Rwanda will start benefiting from a new system of teaching that
emphasises the use of computers and internet to impart knowledge, thanks
to a three-year-old project to transform education which the Government
of Rwanda has undertaken with Microsoft.

The revelation was
made last week by Microsoft’s top official overseeing the group’s work
in Africa, Warren La Fleur, during an exclusive interview with The New
Times in Kigali.
Mr La Fleur is the
regional education industry manager for West, East, Central Africa and
Indian Ocean Islands on behalf of the multinational technology company.
In 2014, the
Ministry of Education entered a partnership with Microsoft Corporation
that will see incorporation of information and communication technology
into various aspects of the country’s education sector.
The aspects range
from helping students access computers and basic Microsoft software
installed in them such as Ms Word, Excel, and PowerPoint among others,
digitise subject content delivered in schools, and help students get
access to internet in their schools.
It is planned under
the partnership that by the year 2020 all schools in the country will
have two smart classrooms and all subjects will have been digitised but
La Fleur said that the first batch of the schools will be having smart
classrooms by the end of the current fiscal year.
“I would say that
before the end of the current financial year you will have smart
classrooms in Rwanda where this new way of teaching with digital
identity will certainly be in place,” he said in the interview.
Only 9 per cent or
531 schools in Rwanda currently have access to internet and education
minister, Dr Musafiri Papias Malimba, said late last year that the
partnership with Microsoft is expected to have reached more than three
million students and 61,000 teachers across the country’s 3,500 schools
by 2020.
It will lower the
cost of delivering the curriculum and learning materials to schools and
improve learning outcomes, officials have said.
Bakuramutsa, Strategic Advisor on ICT in Education at the Ministry of
Education, told The New Times on Friday that the project of digitally
transforming education in Rwanda will help students learn how to use
computer basic software offered by Microsoft such as Ms Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, and others without having to acquire the skills outside
their school curriculum.
“The idea is to
ensure that Rwandan students become global citizens capable of working
locally, on the continent, but also anywhere in the world,” he said.
“It’s a very
strategic partnership,” he said of the government’s partnership with
Microsoft to transform education in the country and empower students
with 21st century skills.
He said that the
Rwanda Education Board (REB) is currently establishing 500 smart
classrooms across the country and they could be fully connected by
August 2017, essentially paving the way for scaling up the programme to
other schools.
La Fleur says that
once the programme becomes fully operational, it will empower students
with digital tools, practices, and technologies so they can actively
participate in their own learning at anytime and anywhere.
Source: All Africa

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